Masters of the Universe: Revelation: Season 1, Part 1 (Episodes 1-5)
July 25, 2021 6:22 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

The war for Eternia begins again in what may be the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor. A new animated series from writer-director Kevin Smith.
posted by skewed (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I watched this over the weekend, had heard nothing about it, and I only gave it a try because I had just watched the first season of the new She-Ra show, and thought this might be good too. This is quite a bit different though, definitely not aiming for the same audience. I thought I'd enjoy this, since the original cartoon/long-form toy advertisement was aimed directly at my age group (with great success!), but not so much. The teaser trailer is great, really fantastic stuff. Highly recommended.

Apparently, the show is getting shit from fans who are upset it didn't have enough He-Man in it, and that it was too focused on the female characters. This greatly surprised me, I had no idea there were He-Man fans.

Spoiler warnings not necessary, but just in case, here's a warning. --- The ending was ridiculous. So literally anyone who gets their hand on the sword can become the new Champion? Why would Adam bother coming back then? Just give it to Teela or whomever. It might have been cool if they had laid some groundwork for Skeletor to have been setting up some scheme to specifically create the opportunity.
posted by skewed at 6:37 PM on July 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Haven't seen this yet, but did watch 'Masters of the Universe' (1987) with Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Meg Foster, and Courteney Cox a few months back.

It's not bad, the acting was better than required, the production quality was through the roof (for the time), and did the sci-fi+swords thing (for the time) really well. Cheese level was palatable.

If this leaves a bad taste, revisiting the live action movie may not be a complete waste of time.
posted by porpoise at 7:22 PM on July 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

This sounds interesting, and I will check it out, but I really just want more She-Ra.
posted by jordemort at 10:17 PM on July 25, 2021 [6 favorites]

Kevin Smith is a troll, and I mean that in a nice way. I found the trailer very unappealing -- it felt very much like the series would be a backtrack from a controversial She-Ra-style reimagining towards a tedious pastiche designed for rage-filled nerds who wanted everything to stay exactly the same as they remembered it from their childhood.

So I wasn't planning to watch it, until I heard that the rage-filled nerd contingent was mad about it for some reason, and deduced that I would probably like it. And I did! It doesn't have exactly the same vibe as She-Ra, but it was a fun way to spend a couple of hours, and I will watch more when there is more.
posted by confluency at 4:24 AM on July 26, 2021 [2 favorites]

I definitely felt trolled. I really didn't like the first episode when I watched it. It seemed to want me to remember everything from the old cartoon show and gave very little explanation for what was going on. So many characters and so little context. I watched a ton of He-Man when I was young, but I knew at the time that it wasn't great, it was just the only thing on. I have forgotten most of what went on in it and was lost in this new version. I felt like it was made for the hardcore fans that know everything about He-Man, not me. Not enjoyable.

Then the second episode shows up, and almost nothing that happens in it really needs you to understand everything that went on in the first. Those events are explained in later episodes in a way that makes sense. I ended up really enjoying the rest of the series. I just felt trolled by the first episode that made it look like something that the series wasn't.
posted by Quonab at 10:15 AM on July 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

I've only seen episodes 1 & 2 so far.

While this isn't the reactionary post-She Ra series I was worried it might be after seeing the trailer, it's still deliberately "edgy" in ways that I don't particularly care for.

Case in point, a somewhat squicky body horror scene in episode 2. I thought Teela and Andra were going to save that father and daughter, because heroes. Then when the father reluctantly drank the liquid and transformed into a gross monster I thought--it's a crapsack world and war is hell, but certainly they're going to still save the terrified daughter--but nope there's a twist! She's already become an evil cybernetic monster as well and tries to kill our heroes! Never saw that coming (or wanted it either).
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:48 AM on July 26, 2021

This greatly surprised me, I had no idea there were He-Man fans.

I was, when I was a child. Thirty years ago. If I had opinions today about He-Man, I would microwave my own head.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:50 PM on July 26, 2021 [6 favorites]

I got halfway through episode 2. It's fine, I like that it's not overly grimdark/adult/edgy, and also not hyperactive and shouty like a lot of kiddie shows and movies seem to be now. Some of the lines are corny and not in a good way. I'm not a fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela. I guess she does a lot of voicework these days but she just didn't seem right for the part. Overall, it made me want to look for the old 2002 series but it doesn't seem to be online aside from fan uploads on YouTube. I was a fan of the original as a little kid, but I don't get the hate that 40-something guys have for this, but like with a lot of other geek culture, it's not too surprising.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:37 PM on July 26, 2021

Spoilers ahead

I really liked it a lot. They took everything that was childish about the original series and fixed it. Most importantly, the characters actually grew due to the events around them. Or maybe let's just start with that events actually happened that changed the landscape. 80s cartoons were like the plot of Groundhog Day: He-man wakes up, skeletor does something but is easily defeated by He-man. Every episode nothing happens. In this series, He-man actually fails and dies, skeletor is criticized by his crew, Teela gets rightfully angry for being lied to as does the King. Duncan loses his job. He-man dies again (!) as Adam. Orco does actual magic and dies! This was great. Lyn takes off her helmet and literally and figuratively lets her hair down.

Not to mention that cast. Cersai-fucking-Lanister herself, Lena Headey, is Evil-Lyn. Awesome casting choice. Mark Hamill kills it as Skeletor. Sarah Michelle Gellar was great staring as Teela. Henry Rollins is in it, JFC that's awesome. Liam Cunningham who was Davos in GoT gave some much needed depth to Duncan. The whole cast was just great.

They were totally right to focus on Teela. Adam/He-Man has nowhere to go as a character. He's a perfectly good boy as Adam, and perfectly strong, kind man as He-man. Great story line to focus on the outcome of The Big Lie. And I think they hit the nail on the head for a small hypocrisy of the original show: be kind and good to all but btw it's ok to keep a big secret from Teela. Pretty funny to lean into that.

I haven't watched He-man since the 80s and I never read a comic or even saw the live action movie. So maybe the other details in the Netflix version were already there: like Subternia and Preternia and the previous "guardians" -- to me these details were all new and added some needed depth to the backstory. I liked that the plot was a little bit of a sketch of the Divine Comedy; cute.

Totally fun project from Kevin Smith. If you go into it not expecting anything other than "here's how you fix He-Man from the 80s" then it's a great show.
posted by about_time at 5:37 AM on July 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

They were totally right to focus on Teela. Adam/He-Man has nowhere to go as a character. He's a perfectly good boy as Adam, and perfectly strong, kind man as He-man.

This is a great point, and I think that's why She-Ra was always more interesting conceptually because Adora was raised as an orphan in the Horde and then defects to join the Rebellion. The original series kind of wasted this potential, but the Netflix series did an excellent job of using it to form a compelling narrative. Even putting aside Adam/He-Man's lie, Teela's the only character with any room to grow because of her connection to the Sorceress.

I don't think Kevin Smith did a great job fixing He-Man's other problem: Skeletor. Maybe it's because I was slightly too young for the original run and only learned about He-Man through Twisted Toyfare comics and Internet memes, but Skeletor is rubbish, has easily mocked goals which he obsesses over, and it's just hard to make him threatening. I think his encounter with Moss Man in episode 1 was supposed to emphasize how different this treatment of him was and how dangerous he is, but it still seemed silly because Skeletor is so irredeemably ridiculous.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:13 AM on July 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I've yet to dig into this series but I hope it explores my deeply held He-Man theory, to wit: when Adam gets ahold of the sword, he gets layered up with all kinds of extra musclebeef. If Skeletor had the sword and got that treatment, he might just turn into a normal guy with a face on his face. He-Man lives in a giant skull themed castle. I'm pretty sure the sword and castle Greyskull originally belonged to Skeletor, until Adam stole his shit and kicked him out. Skeletor just wants to get the sword back so he can have a face and go on dates and such, and not have to lean into his new look so hard with malevolent schemes because he can't just get taken seriously at a normal job.

tl;dr He-Man bad, Skeletor has a valid case for reparations
posted by FatherDagon at 11:30 PM on July 30, 2021 [6 favorites]

It was fine! I like how they reorganized the original bad guys / good guys along the lines of magic / technology, at least for a while.

The five episodes are followed by an .... aftershow? Which is some sort of post facto press junket with Kevin Smith yelling too much? I hope this does not become a thing.
posted by HeroZero at 2:22 PM on August 7, 2021

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